Verisure’s investment in the smart home has been a success, and a Verisure system is installed somewhere in the world every thirty seconds. With a new business model come new challenges. Verisure selected a strategic partner with both the right skills and adequate testing resources to address its new market.
Verisure (formerly Securitas Direct) has supplied alarm products to the Swedish market for over 25 years. When the smart home, or the "Internet of things" as it’s also called, stepped into the picture, not only their entire product portfolio changed, but also their business model.
“What makes us unique is that since 2005 we have developed our own ecosystem that makes it possible to fully integrate other companies’ services and products with our offering, and with all the functions controlled via our app. Our classic components: intruder alarms, fire alarms and SOS are there, but we understand that we need to have a comprehensive offering to be a strong player in the future,” says Michael Peterson, Head of Corporate Communication, Media and Investor Relations at Verisure.
“The smart home” is usually something that sounds good in theory, but that seldom lives up to the epithet. But Verisure has something big going on. Our product is already in many homes and it is already connected. It was simply time to bring in others and to enable homes to start communicating via the platform.
“We already have a partnership with Assa Abloy, whose digital locks are fully integrated with our alarms. And we have Anticimex, with Verisure’s sensors reading temperature and humidity so that customers are contacted by Anticimex if there is a problem with the indoor climate,” explains Michael Peterson.
More collaborations are on the way. The Internet of things is not tomorrow’s technology. The phenomenon is already here and it requires entirely new techniques. Cybercom proved to be the rock that Verisure could rely on when it started to look around for someone who could ensure that everything worked as it should. Cybercom’s specialty field of Connected Engineering offered both the expertise and the equipment needed for this initiative.
“Product testing is cyclical and requires specialist knowledge. You have to know how to work systematically and we cannot provide this type of skill and capability in-house. We decided on Cybercom for several reasons. Partly, it was that we were impressed by its Testcenter, and partly it was that they had several cases where they could demonstrate experience from areas such as the automotive and mobile phone industries,” says Dan Hovang, Chief Technology Officer at Verisure.
“Another good thingabout outsourcing this type of testing is that an external provider takes approaches that we have not thought of. Cybercom is extremely thorough when it verifies designs. It makes sure that the logic of the product is 100 percent bulletproof.”
Testing in general has become increasingly demanding in line with technological developments, and many of Cybercom’s clients today have no ability to be nearly as updated as Cybercom can be.
“Our testing organisation is comprehensive and provides all the elements. And in addition to testing that a product already meets the existing requirements, we can also provide feedback on what those requirements should be,” says Andreas Dyrhed, a manager at Cybercom’s Testcenter and who has been involved from the start of the now five-year long collaboration.
“When it comes to Connected Engineering, like in the smart home, it is also about understanding whether a fault is in the hardware or the software and with whom, as there are usually several vendors involved,” he says.
A high degree of automation has been central to providing the best service to Cybercom’s clients.
“We have discovered that this is something we are good at, and our start-up times keep getting shorter. And the framework we have developed for automation can also benefit other clients,” says Andreas Dyrhed.
“We are very impressed by Cybercom’s automation. One press of a button and thousands of tests are run. And the testing framework is highly reusable. We have not had to start at square one with each product, and have largely been able to use what we have built for previous products,” says Dan Hovang.
But of course not everything is all about simply testing the technology. As the customer experience increasingly boils down to the common denominator called the smartphone, the design of the user interface becomes ever more important. And naturally Cybercom is involved in this process too.